Judy Cox was shopping with her teenage son at University Mall in the city of Orem, about 40 miles south of Salt Lake City, when they saw a provocative new line of t-shirts in the window at PacSun store. The shirts from the “Visual by Van Styles” line, intended for young men, featured semi-nude women in suggestive poses. At least two of the shirts, Cox reported to Utah news station KUTV 2, were in violation of Orem City’s decency code, since women’s buttocks were clearly visible.
Cox complained to the store manager about the shirts’ prominent placement in a store window where children would see them; but she was told that they couldn’t remove the display without approval from the corporate office.
So Cox took matters into her own hands: She bought all 19 shirts, for a total cost of $567. She would like to throw them out; but instead, Cox plans to return them to the store in 59 days–just before the 60-day return limit.
PacSun continues to stand behind their offensive merchandise. PacSun CEO Gary Schoenfeld released a statement in defense of the clothing line, stating:
PacSun is proud to be a retailer that supports a unique collective of brands, all of which deliver on the California lifestyle through their individual personalities. Our brands take inspiration from a variety of influences including music, art, fashion and action sports. The result is a creative and diverse expression both in product and marketing.
While customer feedback is important to us, we remain committed to the selection of brands and apparel available in our stores.
I applaud Judy Cox’ efforts to protect children in a mall from the irresponsible marketing by a profit-centered corporation. I believe those children also deserve protection from sleazy images when they walk and play on city sidewalks, in public parks, and on sandy beaches. A company that would design and aggressively market soft porn deserves the community’s scorn, and deserves to suffer serious financial consequences.